Elaine isn’t shy about the fact that her husband Alex wears the pants in the family. He pays the bills, chooses the destination for their yearly vacation and controls the house thermostat. When Elaine was younger, Alex’s forceful personality made her feel loved, cared for and all girly inside. But as the years dragged on, Alex’s insistence on having the final word, sparked endless arguments. The organizational skills Elaine had to develop in order to juggle the schedule of their five kids and a full time job as a dental hygienist, forced Elaine to grow up and abandon her youthful notions of what it means to be a woman. But as much as she tried, Alex wouldn’t yield an inch. If she messed with the thermostat, signed up for HBO or tango lessons without consulting him, Alex slammed his fist on the dinner table, said something nasty and stormed off. The only place she had the upper hand was in the dentist’s chair when Alex came in for his yearly cleaning. With his receding gum lines and a mouth full of cotton balls, Alex had no choice but to listen to Elaine as she calmly present her side of each cantankerous issue. Her yearly venting didn’t shift the balance of power in their marriage, but it was way cheaper than couples counseling.
January 11, 2014
by Lee Eiferman